Warning: There are some major spoilers ahead.
One of the biggest surprises in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” occurs about halfway through the film when our heroes break away from the action for a more light-hearted family-centric scene on a farm.
Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) brings the fellow Avengers with him to his farmhouse to hide out from Ultron (James Spader) and regroup.
The scene helps bring context and backstory to a character who wasn’t at the forefront of 2012’s “Avengers” as audiences are introduced to Hawkeye’s wife (Linda Cardellini), who has a baby on the way, and two children. The characters help humanize the Avenger, who, beforehand, was just a male version of Katniss Everdeen to those unfamiliar with comics.
Now, instead of shooting arrows at aliens, he’s trying to figure out how to remodel his kitchen.
The scene divided casualviewersanddie-hard fansalike. While some enjoy the extra depth it gave to the heroes, others believe it was a slow stop to the film’s action. It turns out viewers aren’t the only ones who duked it out over this scene: director Joss Whedon had to fight to keep it from getting cut out of the movie.
According to an interview Whedon did with the Empire Film Podcast, he had some creative differences with Marvel executives, who wanted to cut the scene. While Whedon maintains respect for the executives, he said things “got ugly” at a certain point.
In what seemed like an artistic stalemate, Whedon wanted to keep the scene in the movie. However, executives told him he could only keep the scene in if he also kept in a cave scene which didn’t test well with audiences.
“With the cave, it really turned into: they pointed a gun at the farm’s head and said, ‘Give us the cave, or we’ll take out the farm,’ — in a civilized way. I respect these guys, they’re artists, but that’s when it got really, really unpleasant.” Whedon told Empire.
Despite the fact that the cave scene eventually made it into the movie, footage was noticeably cut from it, including a mysterious woman believed to be related to Black Panther. This shot is still present in the trailer.
This isn’t the first time Marvel has butted heads with its directors.
The studio had a falling out with Edgar Wright, who was slated to direct “Ant-Man.” After working on the film for several years, he abruptly left the project over creative differences. Whedon had called it the best Marvel script he’d ever read. Meanwhile, Jon Favreau opted out of directing “Iron Man 3.” At the time of departure, Favreau told MTV he was under the impression Marvel wasn’t sure of the direction in which the company wanted to take the film.
“Age of Ultron” was made on an estimated$US250 million budget. Usually, when dealing with a film on that big of a scale, the people who put money into it may want some aspect of control over the final product.
While the scenes at the safe house do not advance the plot, they do advance the characters.
While this part of the film may seem small and unimportant in the grand scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, getting to know characters better who may be around for multiple films seems just as important as plot advancement.
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